Angie Gets Organized

This is why I'm trying to get organized...for my family. I am a strong believer in family meal time, but I know that without a little planning, it will be hard to keep us all together. It will also be easier to spend money foolishly on prepared foods or fast food. I love trying out new recipes, so this is my site to pass on recipes, while also organizing them into a meal plan. I hope it helps you to keep your family together. I would love to hear what others are having for dinner, or see a new recipe or two! Feel free to leave me some feedback in the comments least then I would know someone is reading this!

It's not gourmet...just good food!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May Menu

Sorry I forgot to post that the new menu is up...You can view it on the sidebar, along with the past two month's menus. I like keeping my old menus close at hand, because there are always changes in my schedule and several meals that do not get made as planned. This also gives you more options so that if you do not like something on the menu, you can choose something from one of the other months. Most of the menu items have been posted before, so you should be able to find the recipe on my site or use your favorite. The exceptions:

Hot Ham and Cheese on Pretzel Rolls: They sell these rolls in several stores around Chambersburg...not sure about our surrounding towns. I have seen them at Giant/Martins (in the deli), ButcherShoppe (at the front counter), and Windy Knolls (in the freezer section). I like to look for them when they go on clearance since they are kind of expensive. But they are sooo worth it for a "once every couple of months" treat! I just put deli ham and cheese, whatever is on hand (prefer mozzi or provalone), and a little squirt of honey mustard. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 10 min. to melt the cheese.

Pita Pocket Chicken Sandwiches: I am going to make extra BBQ chicken in the crockpot to make this yummy sandwich later in the week. Stuff the pita pocket halves with shredded BBQ chicken, salsa, black beans, cheese, and shredded lettuce. You could also add some ranch dressing if it seems too dry for you.

Spam: Honestly, I don't believe I've ever made this since we've been married, but Shane says he wants it so I guess I'll be making it! He says he likes it fried and then put on a sandwich. I grew up with it being baked in the over, smothered in a brown sugar/mustard sauce. I remember helping my mom stick little cloves in each slice. I guess we ate it too much as kids, because now I really have no desire to eat it! Oh well, guess we'll see how the kids like it.

Italian Chicken: marinate chicken breasts in Italian dressing for a few hours (or overnight). Remove from dressing when ready to bake. Place chicken in baking dish, single layer thick. Cover chicken with a can of diced tomatoes (seasoned with basil and oregano). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 min, or until chicken is done.

Smokey Mountain Chicken Panini: this is my interpretation of another recipe (from the Top Secret Restaurant Cookbook). I will use grilled chicken breasts (shredded or cubed), and top them with BBQ sauce, a slice of deli ham, and mozzarella or provalone cheese. Put the sandwich on nice thick bread and grill in the panini maker for a few minutes until toasted. I like a sprinkle of rosemary spice on mine, but this is too strong for some people's tastes.

Orange Chicken: This is a recipe from my new favorite Check it out!! It has tons of great recipes, and I love their ideas for kids' lunches. I'm also using their chicken fajita recipe for this month.

Enjoy your spring with it's longer days...we love working outside in the evenings, it's like getting 2 days for the price of one!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup

I've been craving tomato soup, so when a couple of my kids tell me, "mom, when are we having tomato soup?"...I jump at the chance to have it. I am a huge fan of the Campbell's and Progresso brands out of the can, but since I already got groceries for this week, I decided that I better try some homemade soup. I have yet to find a recipe that comes close to Campbell's (it is sooo smooth and I can't figure out how they do that!), but this recipe is pretty darn close to the Progresso soup. It is a little chunkier, and has more spices in the recipe than the Campbell's. This is my adapted version of the Martha Stewart recipe for "Creamy Tomato Soup".

Creamy Tomato Soup

2 Tbsps butter ( I used margarine)
1 med. onion (I didn't use this because I thought the kids might get picky about it)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes (I used crushed tomatoes with added basil)
5 1/4 c. chicken stock
oregano ( I didn't use since I already had the basil in the tomatoes)
1/2 c. half and half (I would've used this had I had it on hand, but I didn't so I used milk)

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic, cook until translucent. Add the tomatoes, stock, and oregano, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer gently until thickened, about 45 min. Slowly add the half and half. Season with salt and pepper.

*I also added a bit of sugar, since it tasted better to me that way.

Yummy! Can't wait to dip my grilled cheese in a big bowl of this soup!